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Next February, at the IIeX Europe conference in Amsterdam, there will be an entire track devoted to brand new speakers – people who have never spoken at a conference before. Edward is one of six mentors helping our new speakers so let’s get to know him a bit better.


Why did you volunteer to be a mentor for new speakers at IIeX?
Mentoring is still undervalued in MR – if I can, I’d like to help people to find a voice, gain confidence, share from my own experience as a speaker over the years.

What do you think holds people back from speaking?
Nerves partly – also the opportunity to practice, i.e., getting asked! There’s also a sense of having to massively prep to do a brilliant presentation, which could take ages….so a reluctance to commit to something HUGE…..

So having smaller stages, so to speak, would help.

What should our industry do to get more new speakers on stage?
Lower the barriers – encourage everybody’s voice to be heard, make it less formal, shorter, more fun – and yes, offer informal training such as that lead by the admirable Annie Pettit.

What advice do you have for new speakers?
Prepare, prepare, prepare – know what you are going to say, and then practice. Speak slowly and clearly. Make sure you engage with the audience. Convey an emotion – in your facial expression, your body posture – and project it.

Enunciate clearly – loosening up your jaw muscles and cheek bones is what singers do whilst warming up. Pretending your chewing gum is one way of doing this. Talk to the room – don’t swallow your voice.

Final words of wisdom?
Everybody can benefit from a mentor – sometimes it’s assumed mentoring is just for those starting out, the young amongst us. So here’s my first question: why can’t we have “mentoring for everyone”?

Secondly, remote mentoring is underused isn’t it – why? Skype is cool, so what’s holding us back?


Edward Appleton is a Brit who has spent quite a few years living and working in Germany – all of it working in Market Research (over 20 years), but in various guises. Plenty of experience Client side, now Agency side in a Marketing role, but also as Planner within Advertising Agencies. I am an amateur musician, I practice the trumpet regularly, take singing lessons – and I love writing, including my own blog in market research.


If you’ve never spoken at a conference before, please submit for this track. Choose any topic that touches market research like biometrics, neuroscience, eye-tracking, AI, and IoT or any traditional quant and qual methods.


If you HAVE spoken at a conference before, you can still help. First, you can march right over to the junior researchers in your office and help them fill out a submission form. And second, since junior researchers don’t always have the financial resources for travel expenses, you can support them through a sponsorship. Email anniepettit at gmail dot com to find out how you can help.

Now go submit!